As we begin a new year, many people feel compelled, or even excited, to make resolutions to change the way they live in some way. January’s theme of intention meshes with the making of resolutions well as the online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as, “a determination to act in a certain way,” and “what one intends to do or bring about.” We can apply these definitions of intention to religious education at MSUS as we begin to think about how we involve our children and youth in the life of the congregation in the next year
Though we have a whole congregation worship service on the 14th of this month, which heavily involves the children and youth (“Outlawing Jelly Beans and Other Injustices” – don’t miss it!), children and youth are typically only with the congregation during the first 15 minutes of our Sunday service. While it’s true that we have made great strides in involving children in worship during that short time by having them light the chalice, perform special music, and invite them to the front for a story/discussion, what other opportunities could we create for them to participate in the life of the church? How can we consistently expose them to the language of our faith from a young age? How can we share with them the community that is created by worshiping together?
I would like to invite all of you to consider what we can each do individually, and as a congregation, to create a message of sincere welcome to families with children, the children themselves, and our youth/young adults on Sunday mornings during, and after, the worship service. I have a few ideas myself, but I’d love to hear your ideas too.
Once you have considered these things, please join me for an RE: VISION dinner, with discussion around these questions and more, at the church on the evening of Tuesday, February 6, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Our time together will be informal, and attendance commits you to nothing more than conversation. Since it’s a school night, please feel free to come and go during this time as your needs dictate.
Childcare will be available if requested in person, or via email, by Tuesday, January 30th. I look forward to sitting down with you and having intentional discussion about the congregation’s needs, dreams, and aspirations for religious education.
Anna Paquette, DRE